Everything Caribbean

Matthew says CIP funds not enough sportswise, but there’s greater need elsewhere

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By
Neto Baptiste

Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, said he’s not distressed by the small amount of
funds Citizenship by Investment Programme [CIP] received by his ministry during
the first half of 2019.

The minister was, at the time, responding to
questions regarding a report by the Citizenship by Investment Unit’s (CIU) operating account
disbursements, which indicates that US $326,885.50 of the US $14,021,046.31
generated by the CIP for the first half of 2019, had been allocated to sports.

“We could always use more, but I recognise the
challenges with all funds which come into the government’s coffers. I believe
that the same report would have outlined that a lot of the CIP resources were
used to pay Social Security and pensioners, and my conscience wouldn’t allow me
to say ‘well give us more CIP funds to the detriment of the pensioners who have
contributed their time to this country’,” he said.

The
total amount paid out to sports-related activities from the stipulated period
of 1st January to 30th June, 2019, accounts for just 2.33 percent of the total
spent for the same period.

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Matthew said he understands and recognises why
larger portions of the CIP funds are utilised in other areas.

“If you looked at the CIP report — and I am
trying to remember off the top of my head — you would see that quite a lot of
the funds we did get, as small as the overall percentage was, was used towards
athlete support and athlete development, and we’re happy with that. We realise
there is value in that and specifically, I believe it was for Cejhae Greene while he was abroad where
we gave some support to his continued training,” he said.

According
to the report, the lion’s share of the US $326,885.50 spent on sports went to
Cricket West Indies on 13th February, 2019, in the amount of US $250,000. This,
Matthew said, was for the hosting of a recent series between England and the
West Indies.

The
second largest payout for sports, US $47,433.40, was made to USC Spirit, a
US-based track & field equipment company, for the “purchasing of equipment
for YASCO Sports Complex”.

Almost half of the disbursements (42.79 percent)
made from the CIP in the first six months of 2019 was used to settle monthly
pension payments.

The document also disclosed that 10 percent
of the US $14,021,046.31 transferred from the CIP account was used to finance
the development of educational institutions across the island.

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